College students from across the country will have the opportunity to take action for animal agriculture this fall when the College Aggies Online Scholarship Program (CAO) returns for the eighth consecutive year. Registration is open now and sponsorship opportunities are available for this year’s competition, which kicks off on September 19.
CAO, an initiative of the Animal Agriculture Alliance, is aimed at helping college students harness their passion for animal agriculture to become confident, positive and proactive communicators. Since its inception in 2009, more than 4,000 students have competed in the program.
“CAO is one of the main highlights I look forward to when I return to school this fall,” said Jessica Dawn Miller, a graduate student at Oklahoma State University and the individual winner of the 2015 competition. “I learned so much in those nine weeks and applied them after the event ended. I am much better at advocating for agriculture and I help teach visitors at our school dairy farm about where their milk comes from and handle their questions with confidence I didn’t have before CAO.”
The nine-week competitive program will prepare students to become lifelong positive representatives of the agriculture industry. In addition to gaining valuable skills, scholarship funds and other prizes will be up for grabs. During the program, students receive weekly assignments ranging from writing a blog post, creating an infographic, attending webinars hosted by industry experts and more. Participants earn points by posting content promoting and explaining agriculture on social media.
Student organizations can also participate as a group and complete club challenges. These challenges include holding an “Ag Day” on campus, teaching at local elementary schools, handing out candy wrapped with meat myths and facts, and many more. The clubs receive points for each challenge they complete.